How would you like to increase your net worth dramatically this year?
And....how would you like to trim down and get in your best shape ever this year?
Interested? I thought so. Most of us would like to do both.
One of the oldest, most hallowed recommendations for investing and increasing your net worth - even to the point
that you can become financially secure and independent - is to "pay yourself first".
This one principle is so important, it's biblical in nature.
The idea is to invest in yourself first, before you pay the first bill. Take money right off the top and put it
into some sort of savings or investment account. Even better, set this up to be automatic.
Then, the power of compound interest will work its magic for you. And, over time, your initially modest monthly
savings will grow and grow into a substantial amount.
The same principle can also help you if you wish to enhance your health and fitness.
In one of the newsletters I read, a contributing physician discussed a study that was done by Ohio State
University's Center for Human Resources.
They found that significant decreases in weight are associated with significant increases in wealth. For example,
people who shed 50 or more pounds saw an increase in wealth of $10,000. (Not sure whether this was an increase in
income or net worth.)
The researchers made the point that workplace discrimination against obese or overweight people is the cause. And
I'm sure that's part of it.
But I don't think that's the entire reason. There are plenty of pleasingly plump, overweight and obese people
around these days. In fact, 60% of the population in this country is overweight or obese. So working with an
overweight person is pretty common.
Here's another possible explanation:
I would venture to guess that the people they surveyed in the study felt entirely different after they lost all
that weight. Not only did they feel better about themselves, they probably had more energy AND more confidence.
Significant weight loss is not just about losing weight, leaning out and looking better. The more important
benefits are the intangible ones: the way you feel about yourself…the increased energy…the feeling of wellbeing
when you do something good for yourself.
How does this principle of “pay yourself first” work for losing weight and getting into shape?
There is a natural cycle of work and struggle followed by rest and reward. You see it throughout nature. For
example, the gardener tills, plants, fertilizes, waters and weeds for many weeks or months. The reward is the
beautiful garden of flowers, or the delicious fresh vegetables.
You see this cycle throughout history, going back to biblical times. The Hebrews wandered for 40 years in the
desert before they were allowed into the "promised land". God worked for six days and rested on the seventh. And so
You probably see it in your daily life as well.
You crank and crank on an important project for work. When it's finished, you not only have the satisfaction of a
job well done, but you or your company may be rewarded as well. (Hopefully you, but most companies don't work that
way.) Or you may take a day off to get a break from work and recharge.
Apply this principle to becoming active, exercising, eating better, or taking any other type of action that can
improve your health. As you plan your day or week, build in little rewards for yourself - to be enjoyed IF you
complete the activity or task you assigned to yourself.
After you work out, allow yourself a nice meal to replenish your muscles and energy levels. Or take a nice hot
shower and relax for a few minutes.
If you've eaten really healthy all day, allow yourself a nice dinner. Maybe even a glass of wine or some dessert if
you've been really good.
As a twist on this, you can make the activity itself your reward.
For example, most people look at exercising as something they "have to do". So how about flipping this? Make your
workout your reward.
After a hard day at work, frame your workout as your chance to get away from it all and do something just for you.
See yourself moving those muscles and breaking a cleansing, de-stressing sweat. Think about how good you will feel
when you are done.
When the activity truly has become your reward, you’ll be on the fast track to improved energy, fitness and
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